Who Really Cares About This Game Anymore?
The Pro Bowl, the NFLs' version of an All-Star Game, has been played every season since 1950. It began with the American Conference playing the National Conference until 1953 when it became East vs West.
From 1950-1969, the game took place the second or third Sunday in January at the L.A. Colosseum.
When the AFL merged into the NFL in 1970, the game featured stars from the AFC playing the stars from the NFC beginning in 1971. The game has traditionally been played the week after the Super Bowl.
The game was rotated around the country until 1980, when it took permanent residence at Aloha Stadium in Honolulu, Hawaii.
Each year, the television ratings have been dropping and more and more, players have been opting out of the game either because of an existing injury or in fear of incurring one.
This season, in order to generate more interest in the Pro Bowl, the NFL moved the game to the week before the Super Bowl to be played in the Super Bowl host city.
Why did the NFL do this...?
Why does the NFL do anything. Money. The game was always deemed irrelevant and once the Super Bowl had been played, America was done with football.
The mindset is to move the game to the bye week between the conference championships and the Super Bowl, when football is still on the front burner of the sports scene and hope fans would take more of an interest.
Sounds like a great idea, except the whole concept of the Pro Bowl is illogical.
Since the game is being played before the Super Bowl, players from the two Super Bowl teams will not appear in the game.
Tickets will be difficult to move because who wants to go to the host city (even it is Miami) just to see the Pro Bowl? And staying the whole week for the Super Bowl would be cost prohibitive.
Plus, the host city will also be given less time to get the venue and playing field ready for the Super Bowl.
Other issues include player participation. Many players went to the game because they got a free trip to Hawaii with their families. Now, with the venue being switched to the mainland, the lure will not be so great. Players will be backing out more than ever.
Then there is the game itself. It has become a joke. Football cannot be played at half-speed. It is a complete waste of time, completely unengaging and not very entertaining.
Football with nothing at stake is not a very good watch, admit it...
What to do....
The Pro Bowl should be abolished. Sorry. You can still have an event to recognize the first and second team All-Pros though.
At the Conference Championships, the All-NFC and All-AFC teams can be announced at halftime. That's all. The playing of the game has to stop.